C. Dale Pope - Obituary
C. Dale Pope, 73, of Merritt Island, Florida, passed away on Friday, March 15, 2013. The younger of two children, Dale was born in Vick, Arkansas. The family moved to Warren where he graduated from high school. He later earned his industrial engineering degree from the University of Arkansas. Upon graduation, he moved to Florida to pursue a career in aerospace. In 1965 he signed on with NASA at the Kennedy Space Center where he had a rewarding career beginning with the Apollo program. He earned his MBA from the University of Central Florida and concluded his career with NASA during the Space Shuttle program. After his retirement in 1997, he continued volunteering with NASA as a VIP escort for launches and landings. He said that the most exciting time in his life was the four years he spent on a special assignment with the FBI.
Dale met the love of his life, Suzanne Baker, in 1981. They enjoyed traveling around the world together. Dale lived an active life as an avid surfer, fisherman, and diver. His love of gardening was enjoyed by all. Every spring his friends and family looked forward to all the delicious tomatoes and peppers from his garden. He was also a history buff who enjoyed learning about the Civil War and antique guns. He was known to his friends for his clever sense of humor and playing little jokes on them.
Dale has always had a generous heart. He will be remembered by those whom he has helped over the years. He has assisted his nieces in pursuing their education, has stepped in on many occasions to be a father figure to young people and has helped the community by being a great supporter of the Salvation Army and Goodwill. Dale will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Dale was preceded in death by his parents Carl Bernard Pope and Vernie Maysell Smith Pope. He is survived by his love of 32 years, Suzanne Baker of Merritt Island, FL; his sister, Mary Gann of Little Rock, AR; nephew Randall Wayne Williams of Conway, AR; niece Libby (Williams) Baxley (Roy) of Sheridan, AR; nephew Steven Dale Gann (Judith) of Port St. Lucie, FL; great-niece Kelly (Baxley) Vaught (Eric) of Hickory Ridge, AR; great-nephew Robert Baxley of Sheridan, AR; great-niece Amanda (Gann) Davenport (Brad) of Columbus, GA; great-niece Holly Gann of Washington D.C.; great-nephew Steven Gann Jr. of Port St. Lucie, FL.; great-great nieces and nephews Sam Vaught, Baxley Vaught, Sawyer Vaught, Gavin Baxley and Gracie Davenport.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Thursday, March 21st at Unity Church of Merritt Island located at 4725 N. Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island, FL 32953.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to CHDC Volunteer Services, Att: Sally Sellers, 150 E. Siebenmorgen Road, Conway, AR 72032 or a charity of your choice.